Few places on Earth offer an alluring variety of gorgeous scenery, historical relevance, modern cities, and world-class wildlife viewing. While words may begin to describe the thrill of seeking out game in a private reserve or the peaceful moment at dusk as the setting sun silhouettes Table Mountain against a purple sky, nothing beats witnessing all of it firsthand!
- Kruger National Park Safari
Take a journey, beyond the familiar, on an unforgettable South African safari. Throughout the diverse landscape, Mother Nature reigns supreme. South Africa is home to more than 1,100 unique species of birds and mammals! Kruger National Park, one of Africa's largest game reserves, offers visitors the chance to glimpse an incredible ecosystem and rare or endangered animals. The reserve is home to the Big 5: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffaloes, as well as cheetahs, giraffes, and more.
Known in Zulu as eGoli or "Place of Gold," Johannesburg is the second largest city in Africa (after Cairo, Egypt). The city was founded in 1886 after gold was discovered in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range. Today, with a bustling nightlife and exploding restaurant scene, JoBurg or Jozi (as it's known to the locals) is a fantastic place to eat and drink, shop, and explore! It's also known as the largest artificial urban forest in the world, as the city's government has planted more than 10 million trees to date in the bustling environment. Stops featured on our tours include a tour of Soweto, the Apartheid Museum, and Lileslie Farm, where you will experience a first-hand account of the time when Nelson Mandela lived under an alias and the events and circumstances leading up to the raid, which ultimately led to his trial and incarceration on Robben Island.
- Cape Town
Cape Town, founded in 1652, is rich in history and culture. Notably, Nelson Mandala made his first public speech following his release from prison on the balcony of Cape Town's City Hall. Tens of thousands of visitors each year take the short ferry to Robben Island, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to witness the place where Mandela served 18 years behind bars. In addition to touring the small prison island, visitors to Cape Town should make a point to indulge in the city's vibrant food scene, including some of the world's best restaurants, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for shopping and entertainment, and hike one of the city's adjacent natural parks.
- Table Mountain
Overlooking Cape Town, Table Mountain's dramatic and towering landscape draws thousands of tourists annually. At its highest point, this geological masterpiece, one of the world's "New Seven Wonders of Nature," rises 3,563 feet above sea level! Amazing vantage points can be accessed via the Table Mountain Cableway. Or, for the more adventurous traveler, Table Mountain boasts the world's highest abseil (rappel) at 367 feet! In addition to stunning views, this diverse and bountiful ecosystem features more than 2,200 species of plants—many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Many of the plant species, found only in South Africa, have delicate or refined leaves and are referred to as "fynbos" foliage, which means "fine bush" or "fine forest."
- Blyde River Canyon
Every inch of Blyde River Canyon's 16 miles offers visitors a unique and unparalleled peek at the dramatic beauty of South Africa. Blyde is the third largest canyon in the world (behind the Grand Canyon in the U.S. and Fish River Canyon in Namibia), the third deepest canyon in the world, and the greenest canyon in the world! From breathtaking views of rolling mountains, the Three Rondavels, God's Window, and Bourke's Luck Potholes to the diversity of life that inhabits the canyon, including some primate species only found in South Africa—this is a must-see!
- Cape Winelands
Nestled among South Africa's mountains is a network of sweeping green valleys perfect for vineyards! The Cape Winelands, as this region is known, offers visitors a fantastic opportunity to sip unique vintages, such as Pinotage, among rows of neatly planted grapes set against a striking backdrop! Wine production here goes back to the late 1600s. Today, quaint farmsteads dot the valleys, and historic towns like Franschoek (known as South Africa's foodie capitol), Paarl, and Groot Drakenstein provide endless opportunities to shop, dine, and drink!
- South African Beaches
Beautiful blue waters and white sandy beaches are plentiful—and popular with tourists and locals alike! South African beaches provide endless relaxation and recreation all year long. In KwaZulu Natal, known as the "Garden Province," you can enjoy the winter beaches! Cape Town has many famous white-sand beaches, Sea Point and Clifton, to name a few. Boulders Beach, formed of inlets between granite boulders, is home to thousands of African penguins. In Hermanus, on the Western Cape in the heart of the whale route, shore-based whale watching delights visitors in June-late October as southern right whales leave the Antarctic waters to mate and calve in the warmer waters of the southern Cape. Hermanus has been called one of the twelve best whale-watching locations in the world by the World Wildlife Fund!
Already booked on one of our packages to South Africa? See everything you need to know before you go.
Capital: Pretoria (executive), Cape Town (legislative), Bloemfontein (judicial)
|Entry requirements||Please see our Entry Requirements page.|
Malaria is present in South Africa. Take precautions against getting mosquito bites, and talk to your doctor about taking a prescription medicine to prevent malaria (before, during and after your trip). Also ask your doctor about vaccinations for typhoid and hepatitis A and be sure you are up-to-date with other routine vaccinations like such as measles.
Travelers arriving from or visited a yellow fever endemic country within 14 days of arrival in South Africa are required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry to South Africa. Learn more or locate a vaccination clinic in the U.S.
Find more information about health precautions when traveling to South Africa on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) site.
South Africa is located in the southern hemisphere and therefore has the reverse season to those of the U.S. The weather is temperate, and even during the winter time you’ll enjoy comfortable temperatures. Average daytime temperatures are in the 60’s and 70’s from April-Sept and in the 70’s and 80’s from Oct to March. Overnight temperatures are about 10-20 degrees cooler.
|Money & Credit Cards||
South Africa’s local currency is the South African Rand. Hotels and some stores in South Africa accept major credit cards; however, for "street shopping" you will need local currency. You will be able to exchange your cash to local currency at foreign exchange bureaus in South Africa, located in malls, airports, and on the streets. Most charge a commission. Hotel front desks will almost always exchange money for you, but the exchange rate is usually not as favorable.
We highly recommend you bring crisp, new bills in small denominations; old, torn, crumpled bills may not be accepted. Travelers’ checks are no longer widely accepted.
Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card while traveling.
Your guides will suggest some favorite shopping places, where the vendors are known, provide good quality merchandise and probably pay some sort of commission from sales to the guide. This should not surprise or offend you, as this is how business is done throughout the world; however, please be aware of this when you shop, especially if you are buying jewelry or other valuable items. If you plan to buy jewelry or other expensive items, be sure to inspect the items before you leave the store. Most stores will not allow you to return or exchange purchased items.
|Electricity & Power Adapters||
220/230 volts. Plug M. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit before your South African vacation.
Learn more about electrical standards around the world.
|Cell Phones & Internet|
Cameras and video recorders are permitted, and photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will be available in major cities.
|Did you know?||
Tours & Packages
- Destinations: South Africa
- including closed packages
Trip Reviews & Photos
We love hearing your stories and seeing your photos! Check out our entire fan photo gallery and upload your photos.